After several months of rumors and speculations, Apple unveiled iOS 9, the next generation mobile operating system for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch at the WWDC 2015 Keynote on Monday.
Every year Apple adds new features that are inspired by jailbreak apps and tweaks, and this year hasn’t been any different. We take a look at the jailbreak inspired features Apple has included in iOS 9.
Apple has introduced a number of features in iOS 9 to improving multitasking on the iPad. One of the major new features is picture in picture for iPad, which allows you to scale down the video screen to a corner of your display when you press the Home button while using FaceTime or watching a video. This allows you to continue using other apps while you’re watching the video or doing FaceTime.
VideoPane, a jailbreak tweak developed by well-known Cydia developer Ryan Petrich allows you to do just that in iOS 8. In fact, Video Pane enables the feature in third-party apps like YouTube as well, unlike unlike iOS 9’s picture in picture feature, which is currently restricted to Apple’s built-in video app and FaceTime. I’m not sure if developers need to implement an API to enable the feature in their video apps.
VideoPane also brings the picture in picture feature to the iPhone, which won’t be available in iOS 9.
Release date: VideoPane was first released in August, 2013. It is compatible with iOS 8.
Apple also introduced a number of improvements to iPad’s keyboard. One of them is the ability to control the cursor on the iPad by simply moving two fingers anywhere on the screen, including over the keyboard, to select, edit or move text.
This feature seems to be inspired by SwipeSelection, a very popular jailbreak tweak developed by Kyle Howells, which allows you to control the cursor with two fingers.
SwipeSelection also offers features such as the ability to use three finger swipe to move the cursor to the beginning or end of a document etc, which is not available on iOS 9.
Release date: SwipeSelection has been available since May 2012. It works partially in iOS 8 (does not work for Safari on text fields).
#3. Split-Screen Multitasking
Along with picture in picture, Split View and Slide Over are some of the major new iOS 9 features to improve the experience on the iPad by allowing you to do two things at the same time.
There were a number of jailbreak tweaks like Quasar, OS Experience that tried to bring split-screen multitasking by allowing you to run multiple apps at once, but ReachApp that made use of Reachability was probably the best tweak that brought true split-screen multitasking to iOS.
Release date: ReachApp was released late last year, and is compatible with iOS 8.
iOS 9 is more power efficient than iOS 8, with Apple promising an additional one hour of battery life on the iPhone 6. Apple has also introduced a new Low Power Mode in iOS 9 to squeeze every last bit out of your battery.
Low Power Mode disables things like push in Mail, background app refresh, motion effects, and animated wallpapers. It also reduces performances and screen brightness, so even a small amount of battery life lasts a whole lot longer. Apple claims that you can get more than 3 hours of additional battery life in Lower Power Mode.
BattSaver, a jailbreak tweak released back in February 2012, offered similar functionality by cleverly managing battery draining components in iOS devices such as 4G/LTE radio, Wi-Fi etc.
Release date: BattSaver was released in 2012. It is compatible with iOS 8.
Apple has finally made it easier to figure out if you’re going to type in caps or lower-case. In iOS 9, lower case characters are displayed on the keys when Shift key is turned off, and capital letters are displayed when it is turned on. Prior to iOS 9, capital letters were displayed even though Shift key was turned off. It will take some time getting used to it though.
ShowCase was the jailbreak tweak that made it easier to figure out if you’re typing in capital letters or lower case.
Release date: ShowCase was release in December 2011. It is compatible with iOS 8.
Apple has finally added search capabilities in the Settings app, so you can quickly search for the settings rather than navigating through different screens to get to the setting you want to change.
Jailbreak tweak aptly called SearchSettings brought this functionality to jailbroken iOS devices.
Release date: SearchSettings has been available on Cydia since May 2014. Unfortunately, it is not compatible with iOS 8.
#7. Last App
Another feature that I’m glad Apple has implemented in iOS 9 is deep linking, which has enabled features like “Back to App” and “Back to Search” shortcuts that allow you to switch back to the previous app. LastApp, one of our favorite jailbreak tweaks, allows you switch back to the previous app.
These are some of the iOS 9 features that seem to be inspired from jailbreak apps and tweaks. Please let me know if I’ve missed any feature. Check out the video to see these jailbreak tweaks in action.
I think this is a great advertisement for jailbreaking in general, as it should serve as an eye opener for people who didn’t know that they could get these features right now, and has been available to jailbreakers for quite a long time (which was the purpose of adding the release dates).
While this means that there will be fewer reasons to jailbreak your iOS device when iOS 9 is released later this fall, I doubt it will stop users from jailbreaking their device. There are still quite a few reasons to jailbreak iOS 9. I will cover it in the future.
Do you plan to jailbreak your device after upgrading to iOS 9? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
A look at iOS features that were inspired by jailbreak apps and tweaks in the previous iOS versions:
➤ iOS 8 features inspired by jailbreak tweaks
➤ iOS 7 features inspired by jailbreak tweaks